All change again in academy’s re-shuffle

The Tattershall based Barnes Wallis Academy which has appointed Dave Lancaster as the new Executive Principal. Photo: John Aron
The Tattershall based Barnes Wallis Academy which has appointed Dave Lancaster as the new Executive Principal. Photo: John Aron

Officials at the Barnes Wallis Academy in Tattershall insist it is ‘business as usual’ - despite a last minute change in the appointment of a new principal.

The long-serving Paul MacLeod retired from the post at the end of the last school year and was expected to be replaced by Wendy Maxwell.

She was due to move from the Havelock Academy in Grimsby and start at Barnes Wallis last week when students returned from the summer holidays.

However, Ms Maxwell is now staying at Havelock and the David Ross Education Trust - which runs both academies - has moved swiftly to appoint a successor at Barnes Wallis.

He is Dave Lancaster who was already principal at another of the trust’s academies, the King Edward VI Academy (KEVI) which is based in Spilsby.

According to a letter sent out to parents of students at Barnes Wallis, Mr Lancaster has been appointed ‘executive principal.’

He will continue to head operations at KEVI - as well as undertaking duties at Barnes Wallis.

The letter, signed by Wendy Jackson who is chief executive of the David Ross Education Trust, praises Mr Lancaster’s impressive record at KELVI but does not give any reason for the reshuffle.

It states: “I am writing to inform you about changes to the leadership at Barnes Wallis Academy.

“As you will be aware, Wendy Jackson had been due to move from Havelock Academy to take up the post of principal at the start of the academic year. 

“Following the significant improvements made over the last 12 months at King Edward VI Academy (KEVI) in Spilsby, however, in which they saw a near 20 percentage point increase in GCSE results, I have asked Dave Lancaster to become executive principal across Barnes Wallis and KEVI.

“His track record at KEVI puts Mr Lancaster in an excellent position to help Barnes Wallis Academy achieve our academic aspirations and to build on the progress that has been made since conversion.

“Mr Lancaster will be based at Barnes Wallis for the majority of the week and will be your first point of contact for any enquiries that you may have.

“I know that he is looking forward to meeting you all in the coming weeks, and I am sure that you will find him as approachable as parents at King Edward VI have.

“I have also asked Wendy Jackson to stay at Havelock to lead the academy there to help ensure their continued success.

“I am sure that you will join me in welcoming Mr Lancaster to Barnes Wallis Academy.”

A spokesman for the trust stressed Mr Lancaster was the ‘ideal candidate’ to take over as principal at Barnes Wallis and one of his main tasks would be to improve exam results.

He said Ms Maxwell was staying at Havelock Academy, because of other changes in personnel.